AUSTIN (KXAN) — “We’ve been very inundated with Texas patients,” said Zack Gingrich-Gaylord of Trust Women clinics.
The group has seen its patients double, saying Texans now make up about 50% of its Kansas location and about 60% of its Oklahoma location.
“We have people who are driving 10 hours one way,” he said. “We see people from as far south as Galveston and Houston and Corpus Christi and, you know, driving all the way across Texas.”
On Friday, the United States Supreme Court ruled to allow lawsuits to move forward in Texas in regard to the law that bans most abortions.
Before Texas’ new abortion law went into effect, Gingrich-Gaylord said their Oklahoma City clinic only saw about five to 10 Texas patients per month. That has since shot up to about 40 per week.
“What’s happening in Wichita is that we’re seeing more Oklahoma patients now who’ve been displaced from Oklahoma by the influx of Texas patients,” Gingrich-Gaylord said.
Planned Parenthood of the Great Plains, which also operates clinics in the region, said it has also seen a spike of Texans to its Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas clinics, with a majority of Texans traveling to Oklahoma.
“Since the law took effect in September, we have seen more than 1,000 patients from Texas. For comparison, at this time last year, PPGP saw around 50 patients from the state,” wrote interim CEO Emily Wales to KXAN.
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, which consists of clinics in Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada, said it has seen a 132% increase in patients from Texas, saying at one center, that increase was 520%.
“The number of people who need abortion care is not diminishing just because Texas is refusing to provide that care for them. It’s still 1,100 people a week that need this care and are not getting it,” said Gingrich-Gaylord.
Texas Right to Life, an anti-abortion group that created a website for people to report violations of the Texas Heartbeat Act, said the reporting tool is down for security upgrades, but so far, they haven’t received any credible reports.
“We’re very grateful that, so far, it appears the abortion industry is following the law, and that pre-born children are being protected, and that’s the intent of the entire law,” said spokesperson Kim Schwartz.
Meanwhile, Gingrich-Gaylord said to increase capacity, they have brought on about six more doctors set to start in the next month or so and went from two clinic days a week to three or four. They’re also hiring additional support staff.